Disability predisposure to urinary tract infections among adolescent girls: a prospective cohort study in Tororo district, Uganda.
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Introduction: The risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) is disproportionately distributed among adolescent girls despite the absence of research illustrating the incidence. Objective: The study investigated how disability is associated with UTIs among adolescent girls and based on findings the study recommends strategies to improve health of adolescent girls specifically those with disabilities. Methods: This was a prospective cohort with 270 adolescent girls who were negative at baseline. The observation period was 21 days and follow up was stopped to whoever developed the outcome of interest (UTI). Cases were confirmed using urinalysis. Kaplan Meier’s survival estimation was used to estimate survival time. Cox regression model used to explore the association between different variables. The level of significance was at 95% Confidence Interval, p<0.05. Results: The study established a 92.2% survival rate among girls without disability compared to 60% among girls with disabilities. Incidence of UTIs was 40% per person weeks of follow up among AGWDs compared to 7.8% per person weeks of follow up among girls without disabilities. AGWDs therefore had a relative risk of 5.1 to develop UTIs during the observation period compared to girls without disabilities. The hazard of UTIs was 6.8 higher in AGWDs compared to girls without disabilities. Having a disability was significantly associated with UTI among adolescent girls (p-value <0.001). Other significant predictor variables included being a resident of Petta Sub-County (p value 0.015) and sharing a bath shelter (p-value 0.031). District Local Government and other health service providers should implement monthly health camps at sub-county levels for treating UTIs and mainly targeting AGWDs; implement a policy promoting awareness creation and timely seeking of medical attention.